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Spontaneity & Concentrationassume vivid astro focus
In this episode, artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, the principal members of the collective assume vivid astro focus, discuss their first paintings on canvas. In this new body of work (shown at The Suzanne Geiss Company in New York City, May 7–June 21, 2014) they continue to reference the transgender figure—a symbol for the idea that “somebody can transform their body at their will,” which as Sudbrack says, “is an act of freedom.”
Best known for creating dense and colorful installations that incorporate sculpture, wallpaper, music, and performance, Sudbrack and Hamaide-Pierson typically invite artists and friends to collaborate with them, but decided not to for this project. Sudbrack explains why, saying that painting creates an opportunity for spontaneity and concentration, without the distraction of production concerns that accompany their large-scale installations.More information and credits
Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interviewer: Ian Forster. Camera: John Marton. Sound: Ian Forster. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: assume vivid astro focus & The Suzanne Geiss Company. Additional Photography Courtesy: assume vivid astro focus & Edouard Fraipont. Theme Music: Peter Foley.
Art21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.
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The collective assume vivid astro focus (avaf) was formed in New York City in 2001 by principal members are Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson. Avaf fuses drawing, sculpture, video, and performance into carnavalesque installations in which gender, politics, and cultural codes float freely. A study in visual adaptation and modification, avaf’s work recycles and transforms imagery from one project to the next—often in the form of densely patterned wallpapers and graphic signage.
Judy Pfaff & Ursula von Rydingsvard